KOCHI: Illegal waste dumping and a lack of proper maintenance reduced the Andhakara thodu in Tripunithura Municipality, once a navigable waterway, to a pitiable state, but the state government has decided to step in and renovate the canal to return it to its old glory.
Water Resources Minister Mathew T Thomas inaugurated the renovation work of the canal the other day. The funds for the project will be allotted under the Kerala Infrastructure investment Fund Board (KIIFB). The canal which links the Muvattupuzha River to the Champakkara canal, will be renovated at an estimated cost of Rs 10 crore.
"Public sentiment to maintain water bodies is strong. The existing condition of canals need be reversed. It is only thanks to public support that we were able to retain some water bodies like Varattar which had almost became extinct," said the minister.
He said, the dumping of waste in rivers is a criminal offence, punishable with up to three years of imprisonment. Society should be vigilant and stop this practice, he said.He said KIIFB funds have given life to many infrastructure projects. "The water woes of Tripunithura will be resolved to an extent once the bund at Choondi and related projects are completed," he added.
Meanwhile, the renovation of the Andhakara thodu is expected to have tourism potential as well. The renovation and beautification plans also include a 1.5-metre-wide walkway along the canal.